Susana Martinez is the Governor of the State of New Mexico Martinez was elected on November 2, 2010. She entered the race on July 17, 2009 pledging to cut wasteful spending, lower taxes to create more jobs, end “pay-to-play” practices and other corruption in government and fight to reform education. She was sworn in as Governor of New Mexico on January 1, 2011, making her the first Latina Woman Governor in United States history.
Martinez was the District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, a position she held for 13 years. Susana was first elected District Attorney in 1996, and was re-elected three times, running unopposed for the office in 2008.
In addition to managing the second largest DA’s office in the state, Susana has personally tried some of the toughest cases, including child abuse and child homicide. In fact, Katie’s Law is named after Katie Sepich, a 22-year old college student whose killer Susana Martinez prosecuted and convicted. The law now requires law enforcement to take DNA for most violent felony arrests and include the samples in a database to help bring criminals to justice.
In 2008, Heart Magazine named Susana “Woman of the Year” for her dedication to children’s advocacy and her efforts to keep children safe.
Martinez has twice been named New Mexico’s “Prosecutor of the Year.” Susana also has a record of battling public corruption. On her watch, for example, the Doña Ana County Clerk was convicted of five felony charges of violating the election code and a Municipal Court Judge was convicted of voter fraud.
Susana comes from a hardworking, middle class family. Her father and mother started a security guard business with $400 in their pocket. They built their business with Susana’s mother in the kitchen doing the paperwork and Susana working as a security guard, while studying in the evenings.
Susana was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley and has made Las Cruces her home since the mid-1980’s. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and later earned her law degree from the University of Oklahoma. Her husband, Chuck Franco, concludes his three-decade career in law enforcement serving as the Doña Ana County Undersheriff. She has one stepson, Carlo, who recently served in the U.S. Navy, and is currently a student and volunteer firefighter.
Watch the RGA’s American Comeback feature on Governor Martinez: